Lez Hang Out, a lesbian-hosted podcast, is calling on Universal Studios to stop queerbaiting fans. In the sixth episode of their bi-weekly segment “Should’ve Been Gay”, co-hosts Leigh Holmes Foster and Ellie Brigida were joined by Shelley Regner, who plays Barden Bella Ashley in the Pitch Perfect series, to talk about all the queer potential in the Pitch Perfect franchise. Regner spent a good portion of the episode talking about “Bechloe,” the non-canon ship between Beca Mitchell (played by Anna Kendrick) and Chloe Beale (played by Brittany Snow). Despite never being directly addressed in the films, the pairing amassed a large fan following thanks to an infamous shower scene in the first Pitch Perfect movie as well as the ensuing sexual tension between the two characters.
Since picking up on the fan reaction to the pairing, Universal Studios has played on that interest, especially when marketing later films in the series. They used Bechloe in their promotional material for Pitch Perfect 3, with the official Universal Twitter account even asking, “Will Bechloe ever happen?” Their SnapChat account also used a video of Beca and Chloe almost kissing to tease the movie’s release.
It has now been confirmed by multiple cast members that the studio filmed a Bechloe kiss during production. Regner confirmed this during her interview with Lez Hang Out, adding, “It’s pretty steamy, I’m not gonna lie.” Rebel Wilson, who plays Fat Amy in the Pitch Perfect series, also confirmed the kiss at the Australian movie premiere. When Pitch Perfect 3 came out in theaters, however, Universal chose not to use the Bechloe kiss footage in the theatrical cut. During Regner’s interview, she said that she hoped the kiss would be included in the DVD release. “There was an outtake, and we were hoping it wouldn’t be an outtake. There were really fingers crossed… we’re hoping it’s in there!” However, when the DVD came out, the kiss scene was not included in any of the bonus content.
After the release of the Lez Hang Out episode, fan outrage on social media intensified. Inspired by this reaction, the hosts launched a campaign using the hashtag #ReleaseTheKiss, calling for Universal Studios to release the footage of the Bechloe kiss, and encouraging the network to show that a kiss between two women is not something to hide.
To learn more about the campaign, check out the Lez Hang Out Twitter Page. The podcast show has pledged 20% of all proceeds from their #ReleaseTheKiss merch to LGBT Fans Deserve Better, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving queer representation in media.